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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 12 UNC men's lacrosse falls to No. 18 Syracuse, 15-14, after last-second shot by Michael Leo

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Graduate midfielder Henry Schertzinger (2) cradles the ball during the men's lacrosse game against Brown at Dorrance Field on Saturday, March 11, 2023. UNC won 19-6.

With 12 seconds remaining, Michael Leo scored to lead No. 18 Syracuse (8-5, 1-3) to a 15-14 neutral-site victory over No. 12 North Carolina (7-5, 1-3). The Tar Heels had tied the match at 14 with under three minutes remaining before Leo’s heroics claimed the Orange’s first conference win of the season.

What happened?

UNC midfielder Henry Schertzinger quickly scored 42 seconds into the game. Syracuse’s Owen Hiltz fired back to even the score a few minutes later as the two teams traded goals for the first quarter, en route to a 3-3 tie by the end of the first period. 

The Tar Heels found their rhythm during the second quarter, swiftly taking the lead back three mins in. Sophomore Paul Barton’s tough defense caused a turnover which converted into another Tar Heel goal. 30 seconds later, UNC extended its lead to 6-3. The Orange refused to go down without a fight, scoring two back-to-back goals before the Tar Heels managed to score one in return. The second quarter finished with the Tar Heels leading 7-5.

Syracuse came out in the third quarter ready to equalize, scoring three unanswered goals and taking the lead 8-7. The two teams exchanged goals and then, with under five minutes remaining in the third period, UNC went on a three-goal tear, as Trevor Deubner tied the score, and then Andrew Tyeryar and Ty English chipped in to push the Tar Heels out to a 11-9 lead. Syracuse’s Griffin Cook added an unassisted goal to cut the Orange’s deficit to one goal heading into the fourth quarter.

The Tar Heels went into the last quarter determined to hold the lead. However, Syracuse’s Alex Simmons managed to equalize things at 11-11, in a man-up play. Shortly after, Joey Spallina scored, taking the lead back for the Orange. Both teams continued to trade shots in a hard-fought battle and with two mins left, the score was level at 14-14. Just as it appeared the game was going to go into overtime, Leo scored the game-winner for Syracuse, sending UNC home in a 15-14 defeat.

Who stood out? 

Graduate student Logan McGovern has been an attacking asset since joining the Tar Heels. On Saturday, McGovern scored three goals with six shots on target. He also provided a single assist.

Senior Lance Tillman was another effective attacker for the Tar Heels. Although he didn’t score, he did provide four assists, setting a new personal best for assists per game. 

When was it decided?

This game went down to the wire, only decided when Leo drove past his defender and slipped the ball in between the goalkeeper’s legs on a diving shot to score with twelve seconds remaining. 

Why does it matter?

Despite beating Syracuse earlier in the season, as well as recording more shots and shots on goal than the Orange, the Tar Heels weren’t able to pull out a win. This loss places UNC 1-3 in the ACC. 

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will end their season with two games against No. 1 Notre Dame, taking on the Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday, April 22 before returning to Chapel Hill for a rematch on May 6.

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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